GBBO week 8 – Tudor inspired food


Week 7 of The Great British Bake Off The Great British Bake Off has been an educational one for me as I was fascinated by the historical facts about how the Tudors ate and how different foods indicated status. I like marzipan, but I think the way that the Tudor’s made Marchpane was ‘OTT’ and it seemed like they really went all out to show off their wealth in those days.  I wasn’t too inspired by the GBBO contestants bakes either to be honest and apart from Jane’s lovely cake and Candice’s awesome Peacock, the others seem to really struggle.

The savoury pies was the part that really interested me, being more of a savoury person myself. But although I wasn’t too sure about Benjamina’s mexican pie, I was really shocked she had to leave. I honestly thought she would make it to the final and she had lots more to give.  But that’s Bake Off for you, and from previous statistics it looks like Jane has the odds to win at the moment.

So…. I went off to research some flavours I could use for a savoury pie and I thought of using seasonal ingredients and I thought of what would be lovely to eat on a cosy Autumnal evening. Pumpkin of course! Paired with some flavour packed spices without too much heat, pumpkin seemed like the perfect choice for a wholesome pie. I decided to choose Garam Masala to spice up this pie as it offers heaps of flavour without an overpowering heat which would take over the other ingredients.  As some of the contestants in GBBO used a hot crust pastry recipe with animal lard, I have tried a  vegetarian version and it’s way easier than I had imagined it would be!

I know it seems like a lot of steps, but I would not lie and I assure it is simpler than it looks. But as always, I would love any constructive feedback so please do comment below. Thank you!


Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Makes an 8 inch Pie

What you need

For the hot crust pastry:

  • Plain flour – 225g
  • Strong white bread flour – 50g
  • Butter – cold and chopped into small cubes – 40g
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Hot water – 120ml
  • Vegetarian Lard (I used the Cookeen brand but you can use any others e.g. Trex) – 50g
  • An 8 inch round Springform Baking Tin

For the filling:

  • Pumpkin – approx 200g chopped into cubes
  • Chickpeas – 1 tin (400g)
  • White Onion – x1 large onion, chopped finely
  • Garlic – x1 clove, grated/chopped finely
  • Halloumi (leave out if you want to keep it vegan) – 100g, finely diced
  • Spinach – a handful, chopped roughly
  • Salt, to taste (i put in about 1/2 tsp)
  • Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric, 1/3 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • OPTIONAL – if you like things spicier then you can add 1 tsp of red chilli powder with the Garam Masala (Step 1)

How to make it:

1.Heat oven to 200 deg C and lightly grease an 8 inch springform round tin. Heat the oil in a pan and then add the cumin seeds and then the onions. When the onions have softened (don’t wait til the brown), add the garlic, pumpkin, chickpeas, garam masala and salt. Put a lid on the pan and keep on a low flame until the pumpkin is cooked, stirring occasionally. You can add a little water if the pumpkin starts sticking to the bottom of the pan and this did happen to me.

2. Mash the Pumpkin Chickpea mixture a little with the back of a wooden spoon, then add the cubed halloumi,spinach and mix well. The mashing just helps create a nice texture and helps bind things together in the pie. Check for seasoning and then turn off the heat and let the filling mixture cool while you make the pastry.

3.Make the pastry by combining both flours and salt into a large bowl. Then add the cubed butter and use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour so the whole mixture eventually looks like breadcrumbs.

4.In a small saucepan add the water, salt and the lard and gently heat until the lard is dissolved. Then pour all the liquid into the flour&butter mixture and use a wooden spoon to combine the wet and dry ingredients into a dough.

5.Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently using your hands for about 3 minutes. It does not have to be well kneaded like if you were making bread, it’s just so that it’s all well combined.

6. Roll out the dough so it’s about 2cm in depth and then place gently into your greased tin. Trim the edges and then roll the remaining dough into a circle for the pie lid and keep aside.

7. Add the Pumpkin filling to the pastry case, and press the mixture in lightly so you fill the pastry case. Take care not to press down too much otherwise you may split the pastry case.


8 Place the pastry lid and press the edges of the lid and case together and you can crimp it if you prefer. Use any remaining pastry dough to cut/make a design to decorate the top of the pie and make some slits on the lid to help the steam escape.

9. Brush over some milk on the top of the pie and then place in the oven for 1 hour or until the pastry is a medium brown colour.

10. Leave to cool for about 10 mins before taking it out of the tin and serving. It maybe really hot inside the pie, so I know you will be excited to eat it but take care not to burn your mouth!

This keeps well in the fridge so you can make it in advance and then just re-heat in the Oven when you want to eat the next day🙂

You can also use firm Paneer or Tofu instead of the Halloumi



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Filed under Baking, Desi, Dinner, GBBO, indian, Lunch, mykitchenadventures, pastry, recipe, sujiskitchen, Uncategorized, vegetarian

Dessert – GBBO week 6


Well what a fab episode about all things sweet! I really enjoyed watching all the different roulades and Andrew, Selasi and Jane did particularly well on these. I think my favourite flavour Roulade was Andrew’s tropical holiday Roulade as it’s the kind of flavours I would enjoy🙂 It was the first time I had heard of a ‘Marjolaine’ and these were a toughie for the technical challenge. Precision and the chewiness of the meringue layer were criticised and Andrew’s bake was the obvious first place. The final showstopper challenge was interesting and all the bakers struggled to get their mousse cakes set on time. There was some great flavour combinations but I think my favourite was Selasi’s lemon, raspberry and passion fruit one – the one that saved his place I think!

I am not a sweet tooth, which makes my Dentist happy, but I do really wish I had more cravings for the yummy delights that I often see around me.  I will definitely try any dessert but then the sweetness gets all a bit too much and I have to find someone to finish it off. It’s a ‘Catch 22’ situation at home as I love making desserts and baking cakes, but then I have to hunt down others to eat them as there is only so much my husband can consume …lol  ;-)

I got thinking after watching the mousse showstopper round and about the kind of desserts I have made which involved setting agents (as I don’t use eggs or gelatin in my baking). So the obvious one for me was Panna Cotta🙂 It took a while for me to try out this delicious Italian dessert the first time, as it always involved using revolting Gelatin. So it was very exciting when my lovely friend Kavitha told me about a yummy version of Panna cotta which was gelatin free! I tried this at her house and was really amazed by the texture and yummy flavour and it was great to know that you can make this without using Gelatin, phew!

So since then I have tried this recipe out a few times, with some failures (mainly because I didn’t follow the instructions on the setting agent…eeek!) and I can share with you two replacements for the Gelatin; Vege gel and Agar Agar.  If you are a sweet tooth, then I have made some recommendations on how to make it to your taste. I love this recipe as it means you can make it the day before any guests are coming over and it makes a fuss free sweet and relatively light sweet at the end of a lunch or dinner. I also really like the way you can pair it with a coulis or sauce using seasonal ingredients. For example, recently I made a coulis with freshly grown Strawberries and during winter months you can just pour over some store bought Mango Pulp or use frozen Coulis. Easy peasy!🙂

* Vanilla Panna Cotta *

Makes x12 portions (you’ll want more than one😉 )

What you need:

  • 500ml Double Cream
  • 150ml Milk
  • 1 vanilla pod – seeds scraped out
  • x2 7g packets of Vege gel OR 2 tsps Agar flakes
  • 50g white granulated sugar
  • x12 silicon muffin moulds or individual ramekins

How to make it:

    1. Heat the cream and milk in a medium sized saucepan (ideally with a spout) until almost at boiling point. Then lower the heat and the sugar and vanilla seeds and mix well.
    2. Prepare your setting agent. I use vege gel most often as it’s more easily available and the instructions on the Vege gel packets I use states to dissolve the packets in cold water) and then add to the simmering cream and milk mixture and mix well. I find it helps using a whisk here to ensure the setting agent is evenly distributed in the liquid.
    3. Take the pan off the flame and keep aside for 2 minutes to cool a little and get your moulds or ramekins. SEE NOTE BELOW.
    4. Pour the mixture into your moulds/ramekins and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. I honestly think the overnight option is the best, especially when you have guests the following day so it will save you lots of time!

Serve with a refreshing fruit coulis🙂

      NOTE: Be careful not too cool the mixture too much in your pan as your setting agent (Vege gel or Agar Agar) may start to set the mixture. If you see your mixture starting to set in your pan then pour into the moulds/ramekins immediately.
      If you have a sweet tooth then you could add melted white chocolate for a more decadent flavour, but reduce the sugar to 25g.



Filed under Baking, dessert, Food, GBBO, recipe, Uncategorized, vegetarian

Keep your finger on the Pulse!

Today, Sunday 16th October 2016, is World Food Day. Why does this matter? Well one of the biggest issues related to climate change is food security. One of the world’s poorest populations are farmers and other primary food producers, who are being hit hardest by higher temperatures and an increasing frequency in weather-related disasters. So to address this issue as well as the ever increasing world population, a more sustainable way of producing food is now an urgent issue. This is a worldwide problem, not just for poor countries.

The global message for World Food Day 2016 is “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”  2016 has been declared the International Year of Pulses (beans, peas, chickpeas & lentils) by the United Nations and so I was very fortunate recently to have been invited to the Cookhouse in Borough Market where other bloggers and I were treated to a fabulous demonstration about Pulses by Jenny Chandler.


The venue was perfect for this event with a lovely view of the Market and a great demonstration platform where you could clearly view every step of the demo.

Jenny is such a lovely person and she exudes her passion for pulses and food in general when you meet her. She started off by explaining how pulses are such an obvious answer to some of our food problems in this country and abroad as well as her work with the UN to promote pulses as a sustainable food.


The ‘Pulses’ organisation does huge amounts of work to encourage farmers in this country and around the world to grow more pulses and create a more sustainable environment for people. Do check out out their website for more information on Pulses, recipes and how the countries are collaborating to help climate change and food security.

Did you know peanuts are classed as a pulse?

Jenny’s love of world food, and especially food from the Mediterranean, is apparent when she talks about the different ingredients she uses in her recipes and it was nice to hear how her experiences around the Globe have influenced her work and her passion for pulses.  It is this global experience which is highlighted in her upcoming demonstration kitchen residency at Borough Market

Thursday 3rd November 12.30-2pm – The Americas

Thursday 10th November 12.30-2pm – Africa

Thursday 17th November 12.30-2pm – Asia

Thursday 24th November 12.30-2pm – Europe

I know which of these themed demo’s are attracting me – how about you?🙂

It was nice to see how a simple meal of Quesadilla’s could be made using homemade re-fried beans and then adding this to a flour tortilla with spring onions, chopped coriander leaves, jalepeno peppers. The thing I am going to try out when I make these is adding Wendsleydale cheese as Jenny explained how it’s not always easy to get Mexican cheese and so Wendsleydale comes close to that kind of texture. Yum!

Jenny made some flavour packed Falafel, not using the usual chick peas, but delicious Fava Beans. Fava Beans are also known as Broad beans or Pigeon beans and I was surprised to learn that the UK is a big exporter of this humble pulse. I thought the use of Fave beans in Falafel made them taste less heavy and went so well with the parsley, garlic and cumin they were blended with.

I really liked the way Jenny served the Falafel in Gem lettuce leaves which means that there’s no heavy pitta bread so I felt that I was getting the most out of the Falafel’s nutrients and it can become such a light meal – a genius idea! The health benefits of grains and pulses are so important and Jenny has also highlighted these as well as amazing recipes in her book ‘Pulses‘.



Filed under bread, cooking class, Dinner, Food, Lunch, recipe, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian

National Curry Week with @Tilda Aromatic Spices Rice

To celebrate a wonderful week of curry filled meals, here’s a great way to conjure up a flavour packed lunch or dinner which will look like you have spent hours on it! The trick is using the @Tilda Basmati Rice with Aromatic spices which is seasoned with panch phoran spices, coriander and it will save you oodles of time.🙂 You can make this vegan meal in advance, so all you have to do is heat everything before you serve🙂

So here’s how you can make it!

Stuffed Peppers with @Tilda Aromatic Spices Rice and Thai Mushroom Sauce.

Serves 2 – 3 people

What you need:

  • x3 medium sized Bell peppers / Capsicum – cut in half (3 different colour peppers will make your presentation so colourful!)
  • @Tilda Aromatic Spices Rice – 1 packet
  • Chesnut mushroom – 1 cup finely chopped
  • Dried mushrooms – rehydrated with hot water and chopped finely – 1/2 cup
  • Coconut Milk – 2 cups (or maybe slightly more depending on how you like your sauce)
  • Ginger – 3 inch piece
  • Garlic – 1 clove
  • Green Chilli – 1 – finely chopped
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons (any flavourless oil is fine)
  • @HolyLama Spicedrops Lemongrass – 1 drop (optional)

To Garnish: Finely chopped coriander leaves & spring onions (scallions)

How you make it:

1.Set your oven to 200 deg C and put the pepper halves (open side down) on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Bake these for about 20 mins or until softened.

2.While the Peppers are in the oven you can make the Thai Mushroom sauce. Grind the ginger, Garlic and chilli into a paste. In a saucepan heat some oil and then add both types of mushrooms and then the Ginger, Garlic, Chilli paste. Mix well and add some salt to taste.

Do make sure you cut the mushrooms as finely as you can as otherwise you will end up with big lumps in your sauce.

3.After the mushrooms have cooked down, add the coconut milk and simmer for about 5 mins. Check for seasoning and then take the pan off the flame. Add the Lemongrass @HolyLama spice drop (if using) and then mix well. Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves.

The @HolyLama spice drops definitely add the authentic Thai flavour needed for the sauce so do try and get a hold of it. They last for ages!

4.Make your @Tilda Aromatic Spices Rice according to the instructions on the packet and then stuff the softened Peppers so that they are filled in well and then garnish with spring onions.

You can serve with the Thai Mushroom sauce on the side or drizzled over the stuffed Peppers.


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Filed under brunch, Dinner, Food, Lunch, mykitchenadventures, recipe, sujiskitchen, thai, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian

Pastry & Botanicals! GBBO week 5 & 6


Ok so I got behind with the GBBO episodes and along with the usual Autumn sniffles, work and the start of our Hindu Festival Navarathri, blogging has had to take a back seat recently. Boooooo!  So to catch up I have a recipe to celebrate the pastry and botanical weeks from The Great British Bake offSquash Tart with Garden Herbs🙂

I really enjoyed watching the GBBO contestants have fun (and struggle!) with making pastry from scratch and the Botanicals week was a new theme for GBBO this year which I think was a great idea! But I feel that unless you are a GBBO contestant, or have heaps of time on your hands, there’s really no need to make Filo or Puff Pastry from scratch.  So this is a really simple recipe if you are like me and just want to have a yummy lunch or dinner without the drama🙂

I’m really lucky to have some fresh herbs ready to hand in our garden (they are really easy to maintain even for non-Gardeners like me :-)), but this recipe allows the use of shop bought fresh or dried herbs.  I have tried to embrace the change in season here in the UK by using Butternut Squash and I am looking forward to trying this out with different types of squash as well as pumpkins too!

Squash Tart

Serves 2 – 4

What you need:

  • 1 pack of Puff pastry – I used Jus Roll Puff Pastry (320g sheet)
  • 1 medium sized Butternut Squash – peeled and de-seeded
  • 1 medium red onion – sliced finely into semi circles
  • Sun dried Tomato paste – about 4 heaped tablespoons or enough to cover the pastry base. I used a ready made jar by Sacla.
  • 3 teaspoons of finely chopped herbs of your choice – I used 1 tsp of fresh Rosemary, 1 tsp of fresh Thyme and 1 tsp of fresh Parsley
  • Feta cheese – a handful [You can leave this out if you are Vegan]
  • Olive oil – to drizzle
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Chilli flakes (optional)

How to make it:

1. Set your oven to 200 deg Celcius (395F) and prepare the Squash. I cut mine into rough crescent shaped wedges, about 1/2 inch in depth.

2.  Spread out the squash pieces on a roasting tray and season with salt and pepper and drizzle over olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes or until they are half-cooked and softened. You don’t want to over cook them completely as they are going to cook further on top of the pastry.


3. While the squash is roasting you can roll out the Puff pastry into a rectangle so that it’s about 1/2 inch in depth (about the depth of a £1 coin) and then place onto your baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Use a butter knife (or any knife without a sharp edge) to score a 1 inch border around the pastry.

Not sure how to score a border? Lay out your puff pastry sheet and using a ruler measure out 1 inch border around the edge of the puff pastry. Only cut half way into the puff pastry. Do this while trying not to touch the puff pastry with your hands. Puff pastry needs to stay cold to rise. The warmth from your hands will cause the puff pastry to easily tear. If you think your puff pastry is starting to stretch after making your border, place it back in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.

4.  Use the back of a spoon to spread out the sundried tomato paste onto the pastry as evenly as you can – but remembering not to spread onto the border.

5. Then place the roasted butternut squash pieces on top, followed by the Rosemary, Thyme and sliced onions (I kept the parsley to garnish before serving).  If you like it a little  spicy then you can also add some chilli flakes at this stage as well.

6. Drizzle again with olive oil and then place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is browned. Then leave to rest for about 5 minutes and add more freshly cracked back pepper if you wish.

7. Garnish with chopped parsley and crumbled feta, cut into your desired slices and serve! I like to have this with a nice refreshing salad or Tabbouleh🙂


You can use the Squash peel to make a crisps by putting them in a bowl with some oil, salt (and pepper or red chilli powder) and then baking them at 220 Deg C for about 25 minutes  or until they are nice and crisp.


Filed under Baking, Dinner, Food, GBBO, Lunch, pastry, recipe, Snack, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian

GBBO Week 4 – What a load of Batter!

Well this GBBO week really baffled me. It’s great to have new things featured on the programme, but I found all the challenges for Batter week rather boring!  If you want to catch up on the latest episode then click HERE.  Personally, I think you shouldn’t mess around too much with certain traditional recipes like Yorkshire Pudding and Churros, but this is totally my opinion and maybe I haven’t tried enough different types to know for sure.

Pancake? ShPancake! Here’s a different kind of batter recipe I’d like to share – Chilla! This is an Indian recipe which is so much easier than Dosa batter as there is no fermenting and waiting around for 24hours (or more!).  Most Chilla’s I’ve eaten use Chick pea batter (Besan) and sometimes this can feel a bit heavy afterwards. So I love this recipe as it uses a mixture of Daal’s which are also high in Protein but produces are lovely light batter.

You can eat these by themselves as it’s already lightly spiced, but I love eating it with a sweet and spicy combo like Jaggery and a spicy ‘Kara Kuzhambu’…yummm!! But it’s also delish with something like an onion, tomato or coconut chutney. I’d love to know what you end up eating yours with🙂


Suji x


The fenugreek seeds and Asafoetida both help with flatulence and are great for digesting high protein lentils, but these are optional and if you leave them out they won’t affect the overall taste.

If you can’t get the Whole Urad Dal you can use split urad dal which might be easier to obtain in certain locations.

What you need:

  • Masoor Daal (split red lentils) – 1 cup
  • Mung Dal (split yellow gram lentils – not the green!) – 1 cup
  • Whole Urad Dal (black gram lentils without skin)- 1 cup
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Coriander leaves – 1 cup – chopped finely
  • A small onion – chopped finely
  • Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – a spring – finely chopped (these can be difficult to find in certain countries so you can leave these out if you can’t get them)
  • Green chillies – 2 – chopped finely (optional)
  • Asafoetida – a pinch (optional) 
  • Salt, to taste (I add about 1.5 tsp)

How to make it:

1. Soak all the Daal in 5 cups of water for at least 3 hours (it can be more but not any less)

2.  Grind the Daal in a food processor/mixie until it becomes a smooth batter without big lumps of Daal in it.  You can add some of the water if you need to make it into a smoother consistency but don’t add all of it straight away.







3.  Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Check the seasoning at this point and add more salt or spice if needed.







4.  Heat a cast iron skillet ,or a non-stick frying pan, with a teaspoon of a flavourless oil like vegetable oil.

5.  Pour on the batter evenly onto the pan with a ladle and spread the batter into a circular disc, resembling a pancake (Chilla) . Do note that these don’t have to be as thin as a European style pancake and not as thick as the North American style ones.

6. After a few minutes you will see some of the Chilla turning brown and at this point you can loosen the sides with a spatula and then turn it over to cook on the other side.

You can definitely make it a more tasty Chilla if you add Ghee/Butter at step 6 or 7 (or Margarine if you want to keep it vegan)








7.  After about 3 minutes or until the other side is cooked through you can take the Chilla off the pan and serve!  Usually the Chilla is served as a soft pancake but if you like it crispier you can leave it on the pan for longer.







Serve with a chutney or side dish of your choice!🙂


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Filed under Baking, Dinner, Food, GBBO, indian, Lunch, recipe, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian

GBBO Week 3 – Bread week

It’s the day of the forth week’s episode and I know I am so late with keeping up with the GBBO bake along, but better late than never?!  I was planning to make such exciting things for Bread week but this week was particularly busy and I had a rubbish bake with a Cinnamon Couronne – those of you who follow me on Instagram and Twitter will know all about this already!🙂 So I only really had time to make these bread rolls, which in fact was the best thing I could have done from Bread week.

On top of all of that, the shocking news that the GBBO production team will be moving to Channel 4 for the next series! Whaaaaaat!!!!! And the presenters Mel & Sue are also making an exit! Disaster. I am not sure how the show is going to keep it’s ratings as it is a Household name now and I feel the success is due to no advert breaks and brilliant presenters. Oh well, I hope this doesn’t put off any budding bakers out there and hope these easy 50/50 bread rolls gives some inspiration🙂


These are one of the first things I baked when I was learning to make bread, and it’s always been a favourite. I have just tweaked it slightly using Spelt flour and milk which gives it a tastier flavour (in my opinion)  and hence the name ’50/50 bread rolls’ . They have the lovely texture and nuttiness from both white and brown flour and are perfect just by themselves with butter or margarine or with some yummy soup or you can even stuff them with your favourite sandwich ingredients!

Makes approx 10 small rolls

What you need:

  • strong white organic bread flour, plus extra for dusting – 250g
  • Spelt flour – 250g
  •  Salt – 1 tsp
  • dried Yeast – 2 tsp
  • Warm milk – approx 75ml (you can use Almond or Soya milk if you are vegan)
  • Warm water – approx 225ml
  • Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  • Oil, for greasing
  • Rice flour, for dusting


How to make it:

  1. Add the warm milk, warm water  & sugar to a bowl and then add the dried yeast.Mix well and cover and leave aside for about 15 mins to wake up the yeast :-) Ensure water and milk are not too hot and can be touched with your finger comfortably. If it’s too hot then it may kill the yeast – I have done this before and ended up with dough that never rose and tasted horrible! 

  2. In another large bowl, mix the white & spelt flour with the salt so they are combined.

  3. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix together with your hands until the dough is well combined. Bring the dough together into a ball.

  4. Knead the dough on a clean surface for 20-25 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and smooth. You can add a little more warm water to loosen the dough if needed.

  5. Return the dough to a bowl, lined with olive oil, and cover with a clean damp tea towel or cling film. Set aside for 1-1½ hours in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.

  6. When the dough has risen, return it to a floured work surface and knock it back.

  7. Separate the mixture into 10 parts and roll each into a ball. Flatten each slightly with the palm of your hand and transfer the rolls to a baking tray, placing them close together. At this point you can add different toppings to your rolls e.g. sesame seeds, poppy seeds, oats, herbs, chilli flakes etc.

  8. Cover the tray with cling film and set aside for another hour, or until the rolls have doubled in size again.

  9. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C

  10. When the rolls have expanded, dust them with the rice flour and transfer them to the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through.


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September 14, 2016 · 3:56 pm

GBBO week 2 Biscuit Week

What a fab second episode of GBBO it was! I loved the freestyle round of dunking tea biscuits followed by the technical Viennese Swirls (one of my favourites!) and then then Gingerbread showstoppers. WOW! I have had my fair share in Gingerbread disasters but I do love them and the hit of spice they give.  One of my childhood favourites was the Viennese Swirl which my Mum would buy and the Mr Kipling brand was the business!  I love biscuit recipes as they don’t often involve too many ingredients and you after you have tried the recipe once or twice you can tweak it according to your taste and add on your favourite things as well.  So Biscuits are great for amateur and experienced Bakers alike….yeyyyy!

As someone who doesn’t like really sweet biscuits I find Shortbread a great tasting and simple bikkie. Shortbread is also a fairly simple recipe that even beginners to Biscuit making (like ME!) can have a go at. It keeps really well and actually tastes best a day after baking, making it a great recipe to bake in advance for any occasion. I love that these quintessentially British bikkies are so easy to make and I have tried to break down the steps in this recipe to make it even easier, I hope!.  When I was initially researching a good recipe, I found the best recipe from Anna Olsen here.  There are only a few steps but I have added a few extra photos to show you in a bit more detail and I thought it was especially important to show what the biscuit dough should look like.  It was hard when reading Anna’s recipe to work out exactly what the consistency should be but after my first attempt I got the hang of it and I hope I have explained my version of Anna’s recipe in enough detail. Please do let me know if you give it a try!


shortbread PM2


Anna Olson’s recipe can be found in the link mentioned above, but here are my notes when I followed it. Please note that these are my personal changes to the ingredients and method and you may want to change according to your own preferences. So…. get ready…set…. BAAAAKE!


Notes on the ingredients (my changes/notes are in green)

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter – I used Lurpak brand
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar – I found the sweetness not quite enough. I used Tate & Lyle brand light brown soft sugar and used 3/4 cup.
  • 1 ¼ cups plain flour – I have used different brands of flour each time and it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I needed more flour when I made it and I used 1.5 cups.
  • ¼ cup brown rice flour I used 1/2 cup as the biscuits weren’t quite crisp enough for my liking and didn’t have the ‘snap’ factor I was looking for. I also used plain white rice flour – not the brown kind.
  • ½ tsp salt – This may be more salt than you may be used to, but make sure you do put in the whole 1/2 tsp as it makes all the difference!

Notes on the method:

1. I set my oven to 140 degrees Celcius – but ovens vary so do set accordingly.

2. When whisking the butter and sugar, this is the kind of light fluffy consistency that Anna Olson mentions:

shortbread PM4








I whisked the butter and sugar for 6 minutes just to ensure everything is combined well. This whisking is what will hold the biscuit together and prevent too much crumbling.

3.  After sifting in the dry ingredients, whisk them together with the butter mixture until crumbly. It should not be like a cake batter but more like a cookie dough. See my photo below for the texture you’re looking for. I needed to add more flour (see notes on ingredients above) as the texture wasn’t quite right for me when I used 1 ¼ cups.

shortbread PM5







4. Anna Olson asks for the biscuit to be baked for 1 hour but I found this a little too much so 50 minutes was enough for me.

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shortbread PM7








These biscuits really do melt in the mouth and the smells the emanate from the oven when you are baking them are just divine! Thanks so much Anna O and I hope I have done your recipe justice.  If you try these out do let me know what you think in the comment box below🙂

Thank you, S x

shortbread PM3

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Meatless any day

“Meatless Mondays” or “Meatfree Mondays” seems to be a developing fad in the Western world and although I think it’s a great way of getting people to eat less meat and more veggies, it can be amusing for my family and I to see what a big deal some people make it out to be. I know it’s easy for us veggies to sit and wonder why people find it so difficult to cook vegetarian dishes for themselves or for others and I remember when I was at school, how I hardly used to go over to my White English friend’s houses for dinner, as their parents would say “i just don’t know what to make for you”.  I just didn’t get why we ate vegetarian food all the time with such ease and they found it so weird and difficult. I could write a book about how times have changed and I’m really happy to say that I think the UK is the best place for a variety of vegetarian food in the Western part of the world! wooohoooo!!! It definitely needs to be celebrated as I have travelled a bit and not everywhere is as vegetarian friendly as the UK is now.  I think people are a lot more educated about the benefits of eating more fruit and veg and I don’t think people are as afraid of cooking vegetarian dishes as they perhaps used to be.

So whilst I am proud that Meatless Mondays are encouraging more people to eat more veggies,I want to stress that it really doesn’t have to be restrictive to one day of the week or made out to be a difficult task.  So here’s just a handful of recipes I have on the blog to hopefully inspire current Vegetarian/Vegans, or those who just need some ideas😉  If you try any of these recipes (or any others on the Blog) or have any queries about them, then please do let me know.

Thank you,

Suji x


Baked Tofu Samosa’s

Baked tofu samosa PM1








Baingan Borani (Aubergine in a Yoghurt Sauce)

Baingan Borani2

Baingan Borani











Cheesy Pasta with a Herb & Nut crumble

Chilli Paneer

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Oat Crackers


Rice ‘n’ Spice Stirfry

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Lemon Rice


Tex Mex Veggie Chilli

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Avocado Whip


Chocolate Cheesecake


Chocolate Cheesecake









Coconut Macaroons




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GBBO is back! It’s CAKE WEEK!

Many of you UK peeps who love baking or love watching baking programmes, must be excited that The Great British Bake Off is back!  Yipppeeee!! I am definitely one of those people who have set the whole series on record and has told the whole household that Wednesdays from 8.00 – 9.00pm are booked out for GBBO excitement!🙂

All the contestants this year look very interesting but I am liking Rav Bansal already how likes Vegan Baking. Yeyyy!

Well the first week’s theme is just simply cakes and this year I thought I would try and bake along and also contribute to the themes with my own versions.  So to start here is my recipe for eggless Lemon Drizzle cakes/muffins. I love this recipe, especially during these summer months as they are light and refreshing and easy to take on days out and picnics.  

Love Suji x

#CookEatInspire #sujiskitchen

lemon drizzle muffins PM

Sometimes it’s just easier making smaller portions to ensure everyone has a piece or if you are short on time (the latter is usually what happens with me!). So muffins are an easy way to make your favourite cake in a cute package and this lemon drizzle flavour is a really simple one!

These can be Vegan if you are using Soya Milk, but you need to keep these in an air tight container to keep them soft and moist.

Makes 10 – 12 standard size muffins

What you need:

  • Plain Flour – 280g  / 2.5 cups (you can use Self raising flour but leave out the baking powder)
  • Baking powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Bicarb of soda – 1/2 teaspoons
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Caster sugar – 110g /1 cup
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • Lemon juice – 2 tablespoons
  • Soya milk (or any other milk you prefer) – 150ml / 3/4 cup
  • Water – 90ml / 1/2 cup water
  • Vegetable oil – 90ml / 1/2 cup

For the drizzle:

  • Icing sugar – 60g / 1/2 cup
  • Lemon juice – 3 teaspoons
  • Grated lemon zest – 1/2 teaspoon

Optional: poppy seeds/chocolate chips

How to make it:

  1. Line your muffin tin with cases or oil & pre-heat oven to 180 C.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and add the poppy seeds or chocolate chips if using
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients adding the lemon juice & zest at the end.
  4. Pour all of the wet ingredients in with the dry and combine well with wooden spoon. The batter should have a loose dropping consistency and you can add more milk if needed and don’t worry about any lumps in the batter.
  5. Fill the muffin cups 3/4’s full and bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are slightly brown and spring back when pressed gently. Stir glaze ingredients together and drizzle over the hot muffins.

I’m drooling as I type out this recipe… joke!

lemon muffin

Next week’s theme is Biscuits, so happy baking until then!

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Filed under Baking, Desi, Food, GBBO, recipe, Snack, vegan, vegetarian